Review: 2012 Dodge Charger SXT Plus

Posted on 01. Apr, 2012 by in Auto News

A month ago, I reviewed the 470-horsepower, 470 pound-feet Chrysler 300C SRT8. Today we have a much milder 2012 Dodge Charger SXT Plus with the 292-horsepower, 260 pound-feet V6 and Rally Appearance Group. I enjoyed driving the car more vulnerable. This is where you note the date of publication. But I'm not foolin.

Chrysler's new corporate V6 is "best in class" in some segments, but "worst in class" among the V6-powered rear-wheel-drive sedans, where Hyundai 3.8 leads the pack revised. Blame the lack of direct injection. Better yet, forget about the numbers. Give the V6 to 31 foot-pounds of torque could the Genesis and over 200 SRT mill, but it still feels much more torquey in typical driving. No, it can not break the rear tires loose at 35 miles per hour, but it can and will. In the seat when asked to move to do so In this application, the new corporate engine also sounds like a good ol 'American V8 DOHC six as each has a right to, as befits the character of this 21st Century muscle car. Throttle-induced oversteer remains a very real possibility, and with fewer pound-feet in the game, it is easier to modulate. In standard mode, the stability control, although better than most, kills the joy. Pressed a button on the center console to raise the threshold to a reasonable level.

The V6-low-rpm grunt came as a surprise when the same engine feels soft at low speeds in the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Credit cards with two major differences. First, the charger to £ 3,996, checks in almost half a tonne lower than the all-wheel-drive SUVs.

Secondly, the charger. The first company to use a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission Compared to the old five-speed automatic (which is standard in the base charger), you start the new one-ratios lower (12.48 vs. 10.99 total) and up to higher (1.78 vs. 2.54), so that both better performance and better fuel economy. Who thought that five or six relationships is much-this transfer will change your mind. BMW uses a similar transmission in their cars, but the Dodge version actually moves more smoothly. Compared to the old five-speed, the new transmission is much smoother, much more responsive and smarter. It is quick to upshift, but also quick to downshift when called by the right foot.

To select and hold a particular gear? We have discussed whether a manumatic it makes more sense to push forward or pull back for a downshift. Chrysler, the first car manufacturer to offer a manually shiftable automatic in a mainstream car went, the road less traveled: side-to-side. With the new gear, they have eliminated the ability to move all over the shifter. Instead, the rally looks good group developed pressure-cast magnesium paddle shifters. Jaguars should (not) come with paddles as beautiful as this.

A monostatic shifter (which, like a computer joystick returns to the center each time after he pushed or pulled) visits the new gear. You will find this in almost all current two-pedal BMWs, but the Chrysler / Dodge implementation is different. The Pentastar Strauss (like the Audi A8 team) must be held that the system involved BMW-button to the park and push forward for reverse strays too far from have long-established convention. Sun PRND remain in their usual order. The disadvantage of this arrangement: The system must on the distance of your pull, whether you are looking for or vice versa Drive suspect and the catches are almost not noticeable. Too often the system unsafe your request, decides that the best action is no action at all. Sometimes took me three or four attempts to access drive-usually when I had the most to do in a hurry. Quietly and firmly and pull the T-handle when you press the button on the top, and go to (almost) any time. Chrysler has done a good job with the touch and voice control of the car Uconnect infotainment system, as they could mess up something as simple as a lever?

Pulling back on the lever once Charger D engages in sport mode. Pull the switch again to D. I've noticed again not a big difference in behavior between the two in the transmission shifts gears a little faster and its shift strategy is a little more aggressive. The biggest difference between the modes: If you use the paddles in S, the transfer will not overwrite your gear selection. I actually prefer D. The car takes corners well in seconds, which is six paddle pulls down from top gear in manual mode-S. But manually turn the car in D, then prod the accelerator, and you get two or three at once. The transmission is then until you approach the redline or request an upshift. (To finish in the manual mode will keep you up-shift paddle for a few seconds, or switch between S and D)

Fuel consumption? The new transmission bumps the Charger EPA ratings of 18 city, 27 highway to 19/31. The trip computer reported an average of 19 to 25 ride in typical suburb, depending on the number of red lights and the aggressiveness of my right foot. With the average usually in the low 20s On a 78-mph cruise-footed at the airport reported 31.5.

In each iteration of the Dodge Charger and the closely related Chrysler 300 feel like the big, heavy cars they are. But the V6-powered car feels much lighter and better balanced than the SRT. Maybe because it is. Three quarters of the 369 SRT8 extra pounds sitting over the front wheels. Also 100 pounds in the nose can affect a ride. To nearly triple to significantly alter the character of a car can be counted. Where the SRT responses to steering inputs are intentional, the V6 car feels almost chuck viable. When the lighter car is spinning fast enough for you to dive into the throttle to move the rear end around. Not looking to drive a big sedan like you stole it? Even in casual driving the lighter car just feels better. The V6 electro-hydraulic steering system is at least as direct and communicative as the (not very talkative) belt-driven system in the SRT8. The weak link is elsewhere: The 245/45VR20 Firestone Firehawk GTV tires lack grip, despite its large footprint and squeal loudly the moment they start to slip.

With the rally appearance group "performance suspension" (similar in tuning to the V8-powered R / T), the charger sometimes rides a bit lumpy and Thumpy. Some will prefer the relaxed mood of the standard suspension. But the car slides down most streets gently and quietly. Add in the large, comfortable sport bucket seats, and the charger shows very pleasant both in the city and on the highway.

Luxury cues are mixed. The warm hued nappa leather looks and feels upscale, but the rough texture of the black dashboard and doors above successfully veiled her soft touch composition. Not that the Charger "modern muscle car" appearance promises no luxury inside. Provides for those who are more sophisticated styling (but the same texture on the black interior bits) Chrysler the 300th

Our test car (with most, but not all options no nav or adaptive cruise any) listed for $ 35,510. But the new drive train can be had for much less if you are willing, without leather, sunroof, Dubs, and will do so. A Charger SE (well invested $ 1,000) with the optional 8-speed automatic transmission lists for $ 27,420. A highly recommended deletion also for those who like their cars loaded: do without rear spoiler and save $ 225 Can save dropping the red tri-coat paint another $ 500 to bring the price $ 34,785.

A Chrysler 300S as the tested cars equipped lists for $ 41,460. It does include nearly $ 2,000 in additional content (based on True Delta car price comparison tool), especially a larger sunroof and adaptive cruise control (also on the Dodge), but this is still a gap of about $ 4,750. Suddenly I find myself warming to the Dodge styling.